Panizzi praises new Mitsubishi

Asphalt ace Gilles Panizzi says that the all-new Mitsubishi Lancer WRC is better than the Peugeot 206 was in its early stages of development, following his first test with the car last week

Panizzi praises new Mitsubishi

The Frenchman ran the Lancer WRC for two days over the Sweet Lamb complex in Wales, as Mitsubishi prepares for its championship comeback after a year on the sidelines.

"I cannot compare the Peugeot as it is now with the Mitsubishi, but if I think back to how the Peugeot was when it was totally new, this is better," said Panizzi. "We've done two days of running without a single mechanical problem, which is fantastic. OK, some small things have broken but nothing serious. When the Peugeot was new, we were breaking things all the time.

"Straight away I had a good feeling when I drove it. It felt very balanced and extremely easy to drive. I didn't have to fight the car at all: it's been born very well. It's difficult to say what the real performance is, because this car is still very new and we were using the wrong shock absorbers. But I feel very optimistic. On some other cars, using the wrong shock absorbers would make the car undriveable. With this car, you just get in and drive."

Mitsubishi's newly-appointed technical chief Mario Fornaris led the design of the new car during the manufacturer's sabbatical year. The machine, which has very little in common with the last Lancer WRC, features improved aerodynamics, cooling and weight distribution, and also features a new drivetrain system.

The Lancer WRC is due to make its public debut at the Essen Motor Show in Germany later this week.

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